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Jae'Sean Pete can do a little bit of everything as a leader for the new PIL champions in Grant football.

PMG COURTESY PHOTO: JOHN LARIVIERE - Grant High football's Jae'Sean Pete runs the ball against Roosevelt on Oct. 15, 2021, at Roosevelt High School., Portland Tribune - Sports After falling behind twice in the 4th quarter, Grant football rallied to win 42-41 in 2OT. Takeaways: Grant football survives 2OT thriller over RooseveltSure, football is a team sport, but sometimes a special player can come along and make any team a contender.

Grant High football has that luxury with the senior running back/cornerback Jae'Sean Pete as he plays on all three sides of the ball.

Against Roosevelt, in a game that had huge PIL title implications, Pete rushed for three touchdowns, returned a kickoff for a score and grabbed an interception on the Rough Riders' 2-point conversion attempt in double overtime to help seal the 42-41 win.

So yes, football is a team sport, but Pete displayed how he can be a one-man wrecking crew.

"(Pete) and Max von Arx are three-year starters They've been there, done that, they play at a high level in multiple sports, and they just kind of willed it to go," Grant coach John Beck said.

Leadership was under a microscope for Pete and von Arx against Roosevelt as the Generals were missing many starters due to a positive COVID-19 case and the following contact tracing.

Still, the tough defense of von Arx plus his physicality in the run game and as a receiver helped supplement the night Pete showed he's capable of.

"Jae'Sean, that man can run, that's all I gotta say," von Arx said. "Me and him know, he says, 'Block for me, I'm coming off your butt,' and that's how it's always going to be. It's been that way since freshman year."

The win over Roosevelt put Grant alone in first place in the PIL at 5-0 in league play and 5-3 overall.

For a team with only 13 seniors listed on its roster, a player like Pete leading the way is exactly what the Generals have needed all season.

"(Pete and von Arx) are playmakers, they play at a high level consistently, it doesn't matter if it's against Clackamas or Roosevelt or whoever," Beck said. "They did one heck of a job, I'm proud of them."

The next goal for Grant was to finish out that league title, but Franklin gave the Generals all they needed to finish it off.

Friday night, Oct. 22, the Lightning upset Jefferson on the road 28-27 in overtime to send the Demos to 3-2 in league play, two games back of Grant with one game left.

Roosevelt took care of McDaniel to move to 4-1 in league, but with Grant at 5-0, a loss doesn't matter with the Generals owning the tiebreaker over the Rough Riders.

Grant itself lost Friday night 54-21 to fall to 5-4 overall, but they still walk away with its 26th PIL title.

"We got a lot of first and second-year football players, but they get it done," Pete said. "Summer OTAs went well, we've been practicing since March when we played that little spring season. Everybody's been preparing for big moments like this."

A league title isn't where the Generals want their season to peak though.

A playoff spot is secured as no matter how the game with Jefferson shakes out, Grant will be top three in the PIL and be in the postseason.

But now it's about positioning and getting into the playoffs not to lose, but to get in and make a little noise.

"We'll go after them (Jefferson) and it'll be a good rivalry game," Beck said. "We want to get into the playoffs and win games. We don't want to just get into the playoffs."

Austin White
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